Roaring 20s Research Article from History Firsthand

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Little did more to influence American fad and fashion than the glamorous people portrayed in the silent films of the 1920s. In earlier decades, movies were short and plots were simple. The twenties represented a golden age in Hollywood, however, and films became two- to three-hour epics featuring wildly popular stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Clara Bow, and Lillian Gish.

Latin lover Rudolf Valentino, whom writer H.L. Mencken called "catnip to women" was the biggest sex symbol of the decade and was credited for the fact that 60 percent of movie audiences were female. The influence of Valentino and other movie stars on the general public was profound. As Jennings and Brewster write:

[People] look to the movies for guidance on how to dress, talk, smoke, and appear sexy. Girls mimicked vamps like Theda Bara and copied the sexual gestures of Clara...

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This section contains 476 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Roaring 20s Encyclopedia Article
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Roaring 20s from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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